Disagreements between partners

What if we disagree?

Differences of opinion between parents about children and breastfeeding are not uncommon. If the disagreement is over beliefs or opinions, it can be helpful to ask other family members about theirs to help you understand your own. But beliefs and opinions are not the same as research-backed recommendations. Professional advice can be helpful in providing objective information. Parents who have a major disagreement should get relevant, accurate information, choose a calm time to talk about it, and focus on their baby’s well-being as they make their decisions together.

A) Why disagreements happen

Differences of opinion between family members, and in particular between partners, about how to care for children are not uncommon. There may be many right answers to a question, just as there are many ways to bake a great cake or cook a tasty stew. Each family is unique and has different approaches to resolving problems. This can be even more so when family members come from different cultures

If the disagreement is over beliefs or opinions, it can be useful to ask other members of the family, such as grandparents, about their beliefs and opinions to help you understand your own position. Keep in mind that beliefs and opinions are not the same as research-backed recommendations and, in certain situations, it may be wise to get advice from health-care providers or breastfeeding specialists.

B) Approaches to disagreements

Children need consistency among family members. This requires the ability to work through difficult choices. Sleep deprivation, pain, a crying baby, or other stressors can all shorten tempers and make this process more challenging.

You may find the following helpful:

  1. Get the necessary information to guide you.
  2. Pick a calm time.
  3. Sit down and talk things through.
  4. Keep the focus on the baby’s well-being and make a decision together.
  5. Accept that occasional compromise is necessary.